Monday 31 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 31, Favourite Non-RPG thing to come out of RPGing

It's the final day! I've really enjoyed taking part, even if I have ended up putting everything else on hold.

To answer today's topic, I'm going to start with two stories and end with some exposition, but my answer is the one that seems most common (and I think for good reason).

Story the first.

Once upon a time, there was a Games Workshop store with two female regulars. The elder was at that age where she was starting to try to think of herself as an adult and the younger suffered the social ineptness of a stereotypical nerd. They didn't really know each other, the elder being a fan of Battlefleet Gothic and Warhammer Fantasy, whilst the younger only played Lord of the Rings.

The store was proud to have two female members, and nagged both into attending a tournament organised for all stores in the region. The tournament was to be held at the Games Workshop HQ, which meant a long coach journey that would be shared with the regulars of the nearest store.

Although the elder girl had many friends at the store, they'd all managed to get out of attending the tournament so she was stuck on a coach full of people she didn't know, and the younger girl's mother, aware of her daughter's social awkwardness, had tasked the elder girl with looking after her even though they didn't know each other. Sigh.

So it was that the two sat next to each other with little in common. Bored, the elder girl turned her ear to the people behind her - regulars from the other store. The staff at her store had brought her into the roleplaying circle 2 years earlier (something she remains grateful for), so she immediately recognised what was happening behind her - even if it was D&D which she'd never played and had been warned off because it was "too overpowered". She twisted in her seat and was blown away by the sexiness of the GM.

So she asked that she and the younger girl be allowed to join the game, and was happy to help the younger girl (who'd never roleplayed before and was worried her mum might not approve) settle into the game - an epic quest to find the blend of secret herbs and spices that made Kobold Fried Chicken just so tasty. 

And the elder girl and the GM lived happily ever after.

Story the second. 

Opening shot: a large room filled with stalls of many kinds. Crowds of people push between them. The banners on the walls and stalls should reveal this as a university Fresher's Fayre.

Camera zooms in to one young woman who has just entered. We see a brief look of consternation flash across her face before she corrects her posture. This is somebody who has never had many friends but knows she can change that here: she just has to find 'her people'. 

Camera pans to show a short woman in a fur-trimmed medieval style dress. The woman has thick, dark hair that falls in curls to her waist, a tanned complexion darkened further by the cream dress, and a smile as beautiful as she is. With her are several other people - mainly women - painted in various shades of body paint and wearing a mix of fantasy outfits and carrying latex weaponry. Although our protagonist has never LARP'd, when she sees this group she knows she's come home.

She beelines to them with a confidence born of relief and trickery, does her best to make a good impression in her endeavour to be taken into their protection - and it works.

As well as WARPSoc ('Wargames and Role Play Society'), she signs up for RocSoc and PunkSock, and recognises many of the people she'd seen in costume at the RocSoc 'Fresh Meat' Fresher's Ball so circles near them for security - and they look after her. Dancing too near one tall guy, she gets a face full of spikes from his wrist. He immediately hurries her from the dance floor to buy her a drink. No damage done except minor bruising that fades quickly, and she has a new friend who will for the next 3 years look after her in the moshpit and who shares her enthusiasm for living in dreams. On the walk back, a young woman walking ahead up a hill drops her large boots and they land on our protagonist, who, drunk on the pleasure of having new friends, laughs. Two years later, the other woman will recount the tale of how she dropped her boots on a fresher, and our fresher will burst out laughing, delighted to discover she's friends with the woman who was so apologetic and made her feel so welcome to the town that night. Particularly amused, as this woman is the housemate of the guy with spiked bracelets.

Our protagonist leaves university three years and many adventures later, a more confident woman than when she joined. She may not be happier yet, but she has learnt the lessons that will eventually get her there, and she has better friends than ever before in her life, and more friends than ever before.


So my favourite non-RPG things to come from RPG'ing are my friends and my partner. Finishing as I started, this post is actually being written today instead of in advance like all others besides Day 1, and I can see that friends and partners are far and away the biggest response to this. I think it's because the friendships you make when roleplaying are deep-seated. You go through a lot together: it might be in fiction, but it's still an emotional journey. Not only that, but you find the ways you are like-minded, which builds a deeper connection.

There are other wonderful things I've attained that roleplay has helped with - confidence, lateral thinking and problem solving, writing - but all of those come back to the friends who helped me develop such skills.

Roleplay always comes back to the people.


Sunday 30 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 30, Favourite RPG Playing Celebrity

I want to pick Vin Diesel because it means I get to watch dancing baby Groot again.

Although my favourite scene of the film is this one:
He might be a tree, but Groot displays the most humanity in the film.

Vin Diesel comes across as an awesome guy, someone I'd love to play with (and, shallowly, he's really good looking and has such a sexy voice!), but I wanted to look a bit deeper than the 3 names that came to mind when I saw this topic (the others being Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton) so did a bit of googling. I was not surprised to see names I recognised from my musical tastes - Marilyn Manson, Tom Morello, Alice Cooper - because there does seem to be a large overlap in the Venn diagram of metalheads and roleplayers. And I've met Claudia Christian aka Commander Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5 at the only convention I've been to so I feel I need to give her a mention - although I didn't manage to get into the game she played in. I was taken by uni friends for my birthday and my other half - a massive B5 fan - was at home 200miles away and knew nothing about it until she borrowed my phone to ask where he was. I think I'd rather play with Tom Morello or Marilyn Manson, though. Or Vin Diesel.

But which celebrity would I most like to roleplay with? The authors Ursula K Le Guin and Patrick Rothfuss. They, with Terry Pratchett, make the trinity of authors I best adore. A game with them would create some incredible stories. Patrick Rothfuss definitely roleplays; a quick search doesn't reveal whether Ursula Le Guin does or ever has, but I suspect she'd be fantastic to play with - and wonderful to listen to.

Vin Diesel can join in too ;-)


Saturday 29 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 29 - Favourite RPG Blog/Website

Having managed to get behind with my blog reading and just had an attempt to catch up, this has come at an opportune time.

Favourite RPG blog...

I read more RPG related blogs than any other type, which comes as a surprise to me, although it shouldn't. But which to pick as a favourite...

Autocratik definitely needs an honourable mention. I discovered his blog when he ran RPGaDay last year. Highlights include his prototype Harry Potter game and I know some of you will be intrigued by his Doctor Who commentary, but what I've particularly enjoyed has been the updates on the game he's working on. WILD ('Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming') sounds fantastic - I like what I've read of the background and really hope the novel is published to fill in more of the story. But I'm really intrigued by the use of cards as a method of resolution, rather than the more usual dice. So, Dave, if you read this: good luck. I want Wild to happen.

I also think you should check out Darkliquid and DruidX, friends of mine in the real world and a husband and wife roleplaying team. When they're playing in a game together, they each write from their character's perspective, which means you can read two sides of a story and that's a lot of fun. They're both avid readers and writers as well as players, and really lovely people to boot.

Whilst he's not updated for a while, my GM has his own blog where you can see another side to the stories I share here.

For my ultimate pick, though, I suggest you check out RPG Knights. The blog is primarily updated by Mark, but there are several other writers which leads to a good variety of styles and opinions. As someone who's very much a player rather than a GM, this (along with Autocratik) has given me a welcome insight to life the other side of the screen. Why else do I like the blog? It's friendly - you feel drawn in to the RPG Knights family. The game and game book reviews are entertaining as well as informative. Mark's running a Pathfinder game that's very different to the one I'm in - with a fantastic boat! As gamers, their enthusiasm is infectious and engaging. And it was thanks to their exciting competition I was introduced to Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, a game I really want to run.

Yeah, definitely worth checking out.

Friday 28 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 28, Favourite game you no longer play

ShadowRun or Werewolf? Werewolf or ShadowRun?..

Both were incredible games and I miss both, but part of me is terrified to play either again because they were so great and I don't think a new version could live up to my nostalgia for those campaigns. 

Only I'm a bit older now and would like to play them again. I've played a lot more games and could probably cope better with the fact different groups can play the same game in different ways.

I'm really struggling to pick between the two - I love the spiritual aspect of Werewolf, and the intimacy of the pack creates a close bond between the player characters that leads to fun roleplay when everyone is invested in the game. Meanwhile, ShadowRun combines fantasy with cyberpunk and creates something wonderful. Again, you can create groups who are tight-knit and reliant on each other, or you can focus on the mistrust and suspicion. You can also play at the extreme ends of ability and danger, and I like that flexibility in a system.

I think I miss ShadowRun as a game more, because I think it's my pack I miss most about Werewolf.


Thursday 27 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 27, Favourite idea for merging two games into one

Would it be completely cheating to pick ShadowRun? Cyberpunk meets fantasy in a shiny pre-packaged format.

Or should I be thinking more along the lines of cross-over shows, where Jessica Fletcher ends up solving Magnum PI's crimes, or Sam and Dean save Mulder and Scully from fairy-aliens. Or something.

Hmmm.... If you wanted to combine two D&D games, you could always pitch both parties into the misted realm of Ravenloft. You'd need both sets of players to be willing and understanding of the setting in order to have real fun with it.

But there are so many more exciting games you could bring together.

I loved the World of Darkness game played at uni: same players, different characters in Werewolf, Vampire and Hunter. Different agendas, of course, but it meant we got a better look at the bigger picture as the world ended.

Actually, back to ShadowRun and the first time I played it the GM really wanted to run the Renraku Archology adventure. He ran it with us, his main group, and then after my character had escaped with an NPC, he used our desire to get back in to rescue the others as the method to get a group of his old uni friends in too - earning me xp in my absence, because the NPC & I were being so cautious and suspicious his other friends nearly killed us!

The game had many players and each session would be a run based on whoever was free. It gradually fell to a few key players, but the idea of multiple players not always present still appeals. I'd like to run my own ShadowRun or Hunter game that way: I have ideas for both. But I'd also like to take it even further: if there were two groups running in the same setting and the same time, with their GM's in contact with each other so the actions of one group could be seen by the other. I'd love for the players to not necessarily know the games are affecting each other, but I'd love to do one massive session where the two groups are sent on the same run by different fences. At least to begin with, they'd need to be in separate rooms but they might end up working together and then the GM's could combine forces...

I'd love to take part in that!


Wednesday 26 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 26, Favourite Inspiration for your Game

I'm really not sure how to answer this, but let's have a go.

It feels like a question to ask a GM, and I very rarely run games (not a whole lot of confidence, love playing, have a lot of friends who really enjoy GM'ing). That's not to say there aren't plenty of things I come across that spark off the desire to create in a role play sense - either to enhance my playing or in a setting creation sense for a game I'll never run. Then again, I could think about the things that have inspired other people to run my favourite games.

Let's start with the latter.

I'm going to go back to the Final Fantasy Noir homebrew game. I've never played a Final Fantasy game to completion. I got a fair way through FF7 on a friend's PS1 before the memory card got wiped and her family got rid of FF7 because they'd nearly finished and couldn't face working through it again and I've watched other people play chunks of 8, 9, 10 and I think 12, but I've never played one all the way through.

But they are beautiful, detailed games, crafted with love.

I love this bit of music and think this is a fantastic cover.

So that might be my favourite inspiration for a game I've played in. The guy running 'Final Fantasy Noir' is a huge fan and did his best to recreate the vastness of the worlds, managing to create a very engaging game in the process. I don't think it would have been my inspiration, but I'm grateful to it.

What about things that inspire me as a player? It depends, but I like using games to try out things I'd not dare to do - to test my own morality, I suppose. I played a Ravnos in a Vampire game once. Her name was lost in the mists of time, but she went by Mathilde at the point the game started. She was a bully and a trickster - she revelled in causing emotional pain to other people. I am not that kind of person but I wanted to understand it, wanted to play with the concept. I was inspired by the idea that vampires don't feel emotion and slowly (or otherwise) lose their connection with humanity, and I wondered how one might deal with that. I guess I was inspired as much by the setting as the desire to explore what could have been a part of me if I'd been a different person.

And if I were running games... I'd love to run something set in Genevieve Cogman's The Invisible Library. I think Lords of Gossamer and Shadow would work really well: the similarities between the settings and the freedom offered by the LoG&S system mean I wouldn't have to make many changes. But I've got a couple of ideas for games set in the world(s) of LoG&S I'd want to use it for first, so that will have to wait.

I've talked about the book before. Parallel worlds with a Library connecting them (very L-space!), with the librarians of the Library trying to track down copies of all the books in existence. The universe is divided between Law (represented by the Library and dragons, although the two have their own agendas and don't work together) and Chaos (represented by the fey races). Librarians don't age whilst in the Library, need to be smart and athletic to retrieve the books, and have access to certain magics by calling on the Library. Parallel Earth's mean a setting players can recognise but which can be twisted to the GM's control.

Reckon a lot of fun could be had with that.

But mostly it's characters I'm inspired to create, as evidenced by the Character Concepts tab above. I've got several to add when I have time to write up properly, and it's all sorts of things that can inspire. Sometimes I just want to create my own version of an archetype; often something I read will send sparks flying; sometimes I'll pinch an idea from a friend or someone or Twitter (I try to get consent when I notice I'm doing it!) - and as with 'Mathilde' above and several of the cyberpunk characters, sometimes I want to explore something opposite to me.


Tuesday 25 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 25, Favourite Revolutionary Game Mechanic

I'm not sure of any 'revolutionary game mechanics', so I saved a favourite house rule from yesterday, because I think it's clever and adds and interesting element of chance to a game - and because it stemmed from an attempt to circumvent an attempt at "play to win".

It started in a D100 homebrew system (not sure of the setting: I wasn't in the game itself) where one player's dice were suspiciously good: rather than use a proepr percentile, he'd roll different coloured D10's, but declare which was 10's and which units after the roll had landed. To get past this, the GM decided to mix things up by sometimes seeking a high number, and sometimes a low number. And he wouldn't tell you which he was after until all results were in. It got more complicated: he split it into 4 quarters and you needed to land in (or pass) the right one, with your stat assisting your die roll. To increase the randomness, the GM would also roll a D100. Ostensibly, I believe, this was to determine which quarter the target was in, but there were added side effects that were fun and leaked into games I did play in.

If your D100 roll matched the GM, something very bad was about to happen. If, however, your roll was his inverted (eg he rolled 38 and you rolled 83), something very good would happen. If the GM's number was a double (eg 22) and you matched it, something very good and something very bad would happen.

Then certain numbers took on meanings - if the GM or a player rolled it (and we are strictly talking about the die roll, never the stat-manipulated result), then something would happen. I forget all of them, although one number resulted in something completely off-the-wall, 69 usually caused something unexpectedly, ahem, lustful, and 66 (as in Star Wars's 'Order 66') meant something very bad.

I think it's clear that can add fun to a silly game, but it was surprisingly effective in more serious games too.

Monday 24 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 24, Favourite House Rule

I've got a few options here.

I like a rule widely spread in its many variations: GM bribery. When everything's about to go wrong, a well-timed cup of tea can produce a lifeline. One group of friends even had a specific sacrifice bowl for food-type offerings to be placed in! I also like the trading of more artistic gifts for xp or similar: a good backstory should be rewarded with in-game development, but a poem or drawing might be worth a fate chip or point of xp.

One Vampire game, I got credit for the travesty I made of The Beatles Yesterday:
Diablerie! I loved the taste of mortal prey, now I crave vampire vitae, oh I believe in Diablerie
Suddenly, I’m not half the gen I used to be, long dead bodies taste so good to me, oh Diablerie! So loverly!
Why I love it so I don’t know, I couldn’t say. I loved blood to drink now I think of Diablerie
Diablerie! Blood was such a vital part of me, now vampire souls are what I find tasty oh I believe in Diablerie.
 Still makes me chuckle.

Another House Rule I like is one from our Aberrant game: "mischief" dice. Our Aberrant team has developed a habit of dealing with stress through practical jokes. When undertaking such an endeavour, both the joker and the butt get to roll and extra die to carry out or protect against the mischief (for some reason, usually an orange D10). A success on the joker's die adds to their success pool, 10's exploding, and a 1 on either die leads to interesting events.One NPC, Rachel 'Overwatch' Tower, actually gets to roll 2 extra dice, because she's so good at trouble-making. When the character left on a mysterious sabbatical, the amount of mischief dropped, even though we the players had previously been responsible for a fair chunk. I guess none of the characters have felt as much like mischief with her missing.


Sunday 23 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 23, Perfect Game for You

This... is surprisingly difficult.

It needs to be story-driven, and the story needs to be driven through relationships. Strange as it feels to admit, I think I slightly prefer being railroaded to sandbox games, but I enjoy either as long as the story is worth following and the relationships are vivid.

Notice I don't say "the story is good". "Good" can have an implication of "nice" or "happy", and I don't necessarily want that. The story needs to be strong and powerful, without the implication of violence or physicality: a story (and game) that engages my emotions is what I'm after.

There was a scene in our Aberrant game, where my character went to see her parents only to be entirely blanked by her mother. It was incredibly powerful, a culmination of of the relationship I'd created in my back story and the way my GM had built on that. My GM apologised to me afterwards, but it was a wonderful, intent moment of roleplay and I loved it.

I don't mind the setting: give me NPC's and/or other player characters to interact with and I'm happy. 

And the other player character's bit is important: the fantastic NPC's and the detailed story line are a huge part of why I love our Aberrant and Exalted games, but the other player in the group wants much the same from a game as I do, which helps enhance the experience for both of us. Between the 3, we build deep, complex stories and relationships, end up nearly in tears from time to time and have an amazing time.

And yes, it does descend into daftness from time to time, and I love that too - but I love it in the same way as the Porter's speech in MacBeth: as a comic diversion in juxtaposition against more serious themes. And anyway, as the great Late Sir Terry Pratchett said, the opposite of "funny" is not "serious"; the opposite of "funny" is "not funny".

Saturday 22 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 22, Perfect Gaming Environment

I've been really looking forward to this one. Reached it when I was preparing others and stopped there because I wanted to take time to do it justice... and then developed an icky chest infection which set off my asthma and left me sleeping excessivley. I'm feeling a lot better now, fortunately, but don't have much free time left to get this ready. So please bear with me.

There's two ways I want to take this. We'll start with my perfect cosy corner.

I like our gaming table. It's roughly 4ft by 2ft, but we have a hand-crafted cover that turns into a proper 6by4ft gaming table, complete with static grass coating for war games. We have a couple of 2by2ft inch-grid-marked boards that sit on that to hold the munchie goodies. The cover is very heavy - it takes two of us to set the table properly. It's a great size for playing Arkham Horror.

But for roleplay, I actually prefer not to have a table. I like curling up on the floor, on a pile of cushions or a bean bag or a low sofa. I can stretch out properly, that way, when I get stiff, and I like the informality of the situation. Each player needs a filing folder (mine has ferns all over it) or a large book as a hard surface to scribble notes or roll their dice. The room should be small enough to feel cosy but no one should feel cramped. And the kitchen should be nearby, so hot drinks can be free flowing. It's also important that the room doesn't get too hot or I won't be able to focus.

Mood music and lighting can be fun but not necessary, and what's really important is the relationship with the rest of the group: the game should not cross any boundaries anyone in the group is uncomfortable crossing with anyone else. Which isn't to say the best games are the ones where you have the fewest boundaries with other players: the best games are those where you accept and respect each other's boundaries without comment. The environment should be supportive, either encouraging each other in fun, or supporting each other in more intense emotions.

So that's my cosy corner ideal environment. I've also got a bit of a dream of a high-tech space, this one with a table. A smart-glass table that can have a map in the middle - hell, we're dreaming, that can become all 3-D in the middle like something out of The Avengers. Each player would have a section of table in front of them displaying their character sheet, with a digital scribblepad for doodling or note-taking or whatever other exploits, and another 'window' to send/receive messages to the GM or other players. The walls could also be screens of some sort, so images could be projected up - maps, portraits, background scenes.

That'd be pretty cool. 'Til someone spills a drink on your electric table...

Friday 21 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 21, Favourite RPG Setting

Another difficult one. There are so many fantastic settings but they all boil down to what the group make of them. They're also so different I'm finding it very hard to compare.

Shadowrun and (old) World of Darkness are wonderful, versatile settings, both of which are likely to get me running to your gaming table. If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend both. Shadowrun is cyberpunk with added fantasy motifs, whilst World of Darkness has an intricate network of supernatural beings, each group with its own agenda and its own political intrigues. I think these are my favourite settings - I think the other settings I've played and loved (Deadlands, Pathfinder, Final Fantasy, Aberrant, Exalted) have been made so great by the GM & players.

So you know what, my favourite setting is the one with the most collaberative, most imaginative group turning it into something truly special. But Shadowrun and World of Darkness are good places to start.


Thursday 20 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 20, Favourite Horror RPG


I'm not sure if White Wolf's World of Darkness games are horror or not. I mean, they have end of world scenarios and werewolfs and vampires and ghosts and zombies in them, but that's not enough for horror and to me they feel more like arching fantasy epics. Maybe just the games I've played, but they suit that well.

I love the idea of Ravenloft. Husbit adores it, I've read most of the fiction and the campaign played by friends at home whilst I was at uni is still spoken of by ref & players. It sounds amazing - full of gothic themes of hubris and betrayal. But I've never played it.

So the game I'm going to pick is a homebrew game from uni. It was a one-off session set in a fantasy Celtic Britain. I was the Chieftain's daughter, which meant I had a gold torque and woad paint for armour and wielded a claymore with minor magic. Another player was the weird hermit from the hills - lots of magic! Other warriors and townsfolk. No dice, as far as I recall. Not that many rules at all, really, but rather a feeling of communal story-telling: the GM told the story and we provided the detail - we got attacked by zombies in the night and had to fight them off. It was great fun.


Wednesday 19 August 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 19, Favourite Supers RPG


Which isn't really surprising. I've played in two different Aberrant games and two other supers games whose systems I don't recall. Aberrant is from White Wolf and I like every other White Wolf game I've tried. I like rolling massive handfuls of dice. The other two systems I've played I don't really remember much about, so it kinda makes this a default win. But Aberrant is a great game.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 18, Favourite Sci Fi RPG

I've had to think long and hard about this. I've not played very many sci fi games and mostly cyberpunk-esque. Of the regular sci-fi - 'flying around in space' sci-fi - Firefly stands out because (surprise surprise) I love, love, love the show.

All the same, I don't own the game. I know a lot of people who do - and who love the show as much as I do - yet I've only played one session. It was at uni, with the same group I played the Final Fantasy Noir game. My housemates each had a cat and a rat (I had a snake called Jayne, but he sadly died). Sith's cat was Theia and his rat Baphomet; Penny's cat was Cleo and it's frustrating me that I can't remember the name of her lovely ratattat. And this does have relevance, because whilst our game was brief (we flew to a direlict in a hired ship, hoping to make some money, and that was kinda as far as we got) I remember my character well.

Cat pictues always win, right?
Front: Theia, back: Cleo
Her name was Tawny (pronounced half-way between 'Tore-Knee' and 'Tar-Knee') and she was a mechanic. My GM tried to push me towards a Kaylee-clone but I wanted an independent character so added a few twists: rather than Kaylee's combat paralysis, Tawny used a small pistol. She brewed coffee rather than alcohol in the engine room, and played the harp. And had a pet cat called Spanner (as in "the spanner in the works").

Spanner looked a lot like Theia, but I was allergic to her
so Cleo stood in for her

But as much as I enjoyed Firefly, and as much as I'd love a copy of the book for my very own (oh, and one of these to hang on the wall), I don't think I can call it my favourite sci fi game. I think that has to be Shadowrun, although I know some argue it doesn't count because of the inclusion of fantasy elements. 

It probably helps that it was the first immersive game I played in and I got to be an elf with guns and a monowhip and magic powers! And that was hugely cool to me. Running across pressure pads without setting them off and shooting things Matrix-style? Who wouldn't want that? Yes, it was high-powered but the game was intense, too (not always - different players wanted different things, so it depended who made it to a session), really engaging and emotional - vividly real to me at times.

It's an incredibly rich setting, I think enhanced by the magic: it gives justification to the different progression of technology in the gameworld compared to the real world. The combination of tech and magic means there's many ways to create the character of your imagination, and the depth of the setting means there's as much to do as the lowest gang member as the most powerful runner.

I love the bioware, cyberware, weaponry, magic, imagery, dragons... So much flexibility. I don't like to be constrained to one genre and I love being able to combine dark and gritty with magic and dragons; to combine orcs, elves and dwarves with guns, megacorps and dystopia.

Each edition moves the world forward a few years; 3rd edition (2060) is the one I know best.

My friend Matt of NoGamesNoGlory is a huge Shadowrun fan and listening to him talk about the game is a joy because he's so full of passion and enthusiasm. I've not played in a game he's run, but I'd like to (if we ever have concurrent free time). I think his enthusiasm shows through well in this post.

Yeah. There's a lot to love in Shadowrun.